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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:

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    Palm Desert, CA 92211

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    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Anaheim California

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    With over 4500 construction related expert witness designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory provides a streamlined multi-disciplinary expert retention and support solution to lawyers and construction practice groups seeking effective resolution of construction defect and claims matters. BHA provides construction related trial support and expert consulting services to the nation's leading construction practice groups, Fortune 500 builders, general liability carriers, owners, as well as a variety of public entities. Utilizing in house resources which comprise design experts, civil / structural engineers, ICC Certified Inspectors, ASPE certified professional estimators, the firm brings national experience and local capabilities to Anaheim and the surrounding areas.

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    Anaheim, California

    California Supreme Court Protects California Policyholders for Intentional Acts of Employees

    July 02, 2018 —
    Recently, the California Supreme Court ruled that liability insurers are obligated to cover negligent supervision, hiring, and retention claims against employers resulting from the intentional acts of their employees. The case, Liberty Surplus Insurance v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction, case no. S236765 (2018), involved an insurance coverage dispute between a construction company, Ledesma & Meyer Construction (“L&M”), and its insurers, Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc. (“Liberty”) and Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp (“Liberty Surplus”). Liberty was L&M’s primary insurer, while Liberty Surplus had the excess policy. L&M had contracted with the San Bernardino Unified School District to renovate a school building while the school was still in session. In a separate action, another court found that an L&M employee sexually assaulted a 13-year-old student while working at the project. Read the court decision
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of William S. Bennett, Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C.
    Mr. Bennett may be contacted at

    Use Your Instincts when Negotiating a Construction Contract

    August 07, 2018 —
    I have often discussed the more “mechanical” aspects of contract negotiation and drafting here at Construction Law Musings. However, there is another, less objective (possibly) and more “feel” oriented aspect to construction contracting that can have as big an impact on your construction project. What am I talking about? Your instinct as a construction professional when looking the other party in the eye and getting a feel for the company or individual with whom you are contracting. Why is this so important? Firstly, and this is a truism, no matter how well drafted your construction contract is (and it should be well drafted and reviewed by an experienced construction attorney), if the other party wishes to “play games” and not honor the terms of that contract, you could still very well end up in litigation with the attendant frustration and expense. Having a great looking, well thought out and at least reasonably “fair” construction contract may make the litigation process somewhat less painful but it does not completely avoid the risk of litigation. If the other party or parties to the contract decide not to pay you or perform as they promised, you are left to enforce whatever contract you have in place. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher G. Hill, The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Insurer Must Defend Claims of Negligence and Private Nuisance

    July 10, 2018 —
    The court determined there was a duty to defend negligence and private nuisance claims for dumping materials on the plaintiffs' property. Peters Heavy Construction, Inc. v. X-Pert One Tracking Corp., 2018 Wisc. App. LEXIS 358 (Wis. Ct. App. March 29, 2018). Peters Heavy Construction sued X-Pert One for negligently depositing shingle materials, tires, and other solid materials on Peters' property, causing damage to Peters, including loss of use of portions of the property. Peters also alleged that X-Pert One's actions negligently created a private nuisance causing harm to Peters' property. X-Pert One's insurer, Northfield Insurance Company, was also sued. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at

    Insurance Policies Broadly Defining “Suits” May Prompt an Insurer’s Duty to Defend and Indemnify During the Chapter 558 Pre-Suit Notice Process

    May 30, 2018 —
    In Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company, No. SC16-1420, 2017 WL 6379535 (Fla. Dec. 14, 2017), the Florida Supreme Court addressed whether the notice and repair process set forth in chapter 558, Florida Statutes, constitutes a “suit” within the meaning of a commercial liability policy issued by Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company (“C&F”) to Altman Contractors, Inc. (“Altman”). The Court found that because the chapter 558 pre-suit process is an “alternative dispute resolution proceeding” as included in the definition of “suit” in the policy by C&F to Altman, C&F had a duty to defend Altman during the chapter 558 process, prior to the filing of a formal lawsuit. Chapter 558, titled “Construction Defects,” sets forth procedural requirements before a claimant may file a construction defect action. It requires a claimant to serve a written notice of claim on the applicable contractor, subcontractor, supplier, and/or design professional prior to filing a construction defect lawsuit. The legislature intended for Chapter 558 to be an alternative dispute resolution mechanism in certain construction defect matters allowing an opportunity to resolve the claim without further legal process. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Daniel Garcia, Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
    Mr. Garcia may be contacted at

    Pre-Suit Settlement Offers and Construction Lien Actions

    July 21, 2018 —
    It is unfortunate, but in certain matters, a construction lien foreclosure action is not actually driven by the principal amount in dispute. Oh no. Rather, it is driven by attorney’s fees. That’s right. Attorney’s fees. This is true even though Florida applies the significant issues test to determine the prevailing party for purposes of attorney’s fees. However, oftentimes the prospect of attorney’s fees is enough for parties to fear that exposure. There is a 1985 Florida Supreme Court case that I like to cite if applicable, C.U. Associates, Inc. v. R.B. Grove, Inc., 472 So.2d 1177, 1179 (Fla. 1985), that finds, “in order to be a prevailing party entitled to the award of attorney’s fees pursuant to section 713.29 [a construction lien claim], a litigant must have recovered an amount exceeding that which was earlier offered in settlement of the claim.” Accord Sullivan v. Galske, 917 So.2d 412 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) (explaining that although contractor is receiving a judgment in his favor, he may not be the prevailing party if the homeowner offered to settle prior to the lawsuit for an amount equal to or greater than the award in the judgment). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Two Injured in Walkway Collapse of Detroit Apartment Complex

    May 30, 2018 —
    ABC WXYZ Local News reported that a balcony collapsed at the Anthoes Garden Apartments in Detroit, Michigan. Two people were witnessed falling from the upper walkway through the second and third floors, landing on the cement, sidewalk below. Neighbors pulled the thirty-something woman out of the debris, but the sixty-something man remained trapped under cement chunks and told the rescuers that he could not breathe. The neighbors used car jacks to raise the cement blocks to relieve pressure while waiting for help to arrive. Firefighters rescued residents from the apartments. The fire marshall condemned the building. However, according to ABC News, "people who live in apartments nearby are afraid to leave because of the walkway's instability." Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Workers Compensation Immunity and the Intentional Tort Exception

    July 02, 2018 —
    In prior articles, I discussed the benefit of workers compensation immunity for contractors. Arguing around workers compensation immunity under the “intentional tort exception” is really hard – borderline impossible, in my opinion. Nevertheless, injured workers still make an attempt to sue a contractor under the intentional tort exception to workers compensation immunity. Most fail based on the seemingly impossible standard the injured worker must prove to establish the intentional tort exception. A less onerous standard (although certainly onerous), as a recent case suggests, appears to be an injured worker suing a co-employee for the injury. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Florida Construction Legal Updates
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    Colorado Court Holds No Coverage for Breach of Contract Claim

    March 14, 2018 —
    In its recent decision in Ctr. For Excellence in Higher Ed., Inc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25424 (D. Col. Feb. 16, 2018), the United States District Court for the District of Colorado had occasion to consider whether a breach of contract claim could qualify for coverage under a general liability policy. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP